In 1604 Logan disposed of the barony of Restalrig to Lord Balmerino. He died in July 1606. He had among other children a son Robert who succeeded him (ib. viii. 781).
After Logan's death, George Sprott [q. v.], a notary public in Eyemouth, Berwickshire, was apprehended in April 1608 on suspicion of implication in the conspiracy of Gowrie House. On being placed under torture he confessed his knowledge of certain letters written by Logan in connection with the plot, which, if genuine, proved that Logan had entered into an agreement to imprison the king in his stronghold of Fast Castle. After Sprott's execution on 12 Aug., Logan's bones were therefore exhumed from his grave and produced at a parliament held in June 1609, when Logan, on evidence of five letters then produced, and still extant in the Register House at Edinburgh, was declared to have been guilty of high treason, and sentence of forfeiture passed against him. Grave doubts of the genuineness of the letters have, however, been expressed by contemporaries; nor can it be said that subsequent research has done much to dissipate the mystery in which the conspiracy has been shrouded. Calderwood states that it was thought strange that ‘the Earl of Gowrie and his brother would communicate a purpose of such importance to the laird of Restalrig, a deboshed drunken man’ (History, vi. 779); and Spotiswood even goes so far as to affirm that Sprott's story was a ‘mere conceit of the man's own brain’ (History, iii. 200). The fact that no clear and full explanation is extant of how the letters were discovered, tends to cast suspicion on their authenticity, even if the story were not in itself inherently improbable.
[Acta Parl. Scot. iv. 419–28; Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, ii. 276–91; Reg. P. C. Scotl. vols. ii–viii.; Histories of Spotiswood and Calderwood. The plot and Logan's connection with it have been discussed by a considerable number of modern writers, none of whom have, however, contributed further new facts tending towards its elucidation.]
LOGAN, Sir WILLIAM EDMOND (1798–1875), Canadian geologist, second son of William Logan, by his wife Janet, born Edmond, and grandson of James Logan, a ‘baxter’ of Stirling, who emigrated to Canada in 1784, was born in Montreal on 20 April 1798. After a good grounding at the school of one Skakel, the Canadian Busby, he was sent by his father in 1814 to the high school at Edinburgh, and thence to Edinburgh University, where he graduated with distinction in mathematics in 1817. In the following year he entered the counting-house of his uncle, Hart Logan, in London, where he relieved the tedium of his evenings by taking lessons in geometry from Robert, eldest son of the poet Burns. In 1831 he went to Swansea, South Wales, as manager of copper-smelting and coal-mining works in which his uncle was interested, remaining in charge thereof until his uncle's death in 1838. While there his attention was attracted to the general structure of the Glamorganshire coal-field, and he became an enthusiastic student of geology. He purchased surveying instruments, writing to his brother in 1832, ‘If a pound or two more would make the theodolite better, I should be disposed to give it; I'll live on milk diet and save the money in a short time;’ and began a full geological map of the district. When Sir Henry de la Beche [q. v.] came to the district, he did not hesitate to adopt the maps which Logan proffered him for the government survey, on the early sheets of which Logan's name is engraved. Between 1832 and 1835 Logan visited the Isle of Sheppey, France, and Spain, making geological notes. In 1837 he was elected F.G.S., and in the same year he exhibited his map of the South Wales coal district to the British Association at Liverpool. Before he left South Wales he had demonstrated the important fact, till then unrecognised or not understood, that the stratum of clay underlying coal-beds was the soil in which the coal-vegetation grew, thus refuting the drift theory, and establishing that of growth in situ (Trans. Geol. Soc. vi. 491). In August 1840 Logan left Liverpool for Halifax, Nova Scotia, and during the following winter studied the phenomena connected with the annual freezing over of the St. Lawrence, the observations which he made proving of great value to Robert Stephenson when considering the best site for the Victoria bridge, Montreal (see Quart. Journal of Geolog. Soc. 1846, ii. 422). In 1841 he visited the coalfields of Pennsylvania and Nova Scotia, finding his discoveries in Wales as to stigmaria underclays everywhere confirmed, and making several valuable communications on the subject to the Geological Society.
In 1842, on the strong recommendation of De la Beche, Murchison, Sedgwick, and Buckland, Logan was placed at the head of the projected geological survey of Canada, and, after eighteen months' preliminary work, the Canadian government decided both to continue the survey and to confirm in his position Logan, who about the same time refused the offer of a similar post in India. He had already begun the examination of the palæozoic rocks of Canada, and he now pro-